DHS Develops New Gloves for Helicopter Hoist Operators

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The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate has engaged with industry and academia to address the need for new, better gloves that helicopter rescue medics would use when handling hoist cables.

S&T said Tuesday it worked with North Carolina State University and Higher Dimension Materials to create the most suitable fabric for durable rescue hoist gloves.

Gloves currently used by rescue medics have the tendency to easily wear out and pose injury threats to the wearer’s hands.

“Hoist operators were experiencing glove degradation, damaging their hands, leaving frayed material in the rescue cable,” said Kimberli Jones-Holt, a program manager with S&T.

She said the team sought more durable gloves that allow hoist rescue operators to perform their jobs with dexterity and tactility. HDM provided its SuperFabric material to help S&T meet requirements.

S&T and HDM will work to further develop the new gloves and have the resulting product ready for commercialization before the end of the year.

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